Saturday, October 29, 2022

Gov't Whitewashing OF UAP-UFOs Is Still Based On Myth Of Human Cosmic Sovereignty


                         This cartoon sums up the latest idiocy in whitewashing the UAP-UFO issue

"Government officials” we are told,  “believe that surveillance operations by foreign powers and weather balloons or other airborne clutter explain most recent incidents of unidentified aerial phenomenon — government-speak for UFOs — as well as many episodes in past years.” 

 This according to the latest news (NY Times) about whitewashing the UAP-UFO reports of trained military pilots (Many military UFO reports are foreign spying, airborne trash by Julian E. Barnes.

The sightings, we are informed: 

"have puzzled the Pentagon and intelligence agencies for years, fueling theories about visiting space aliens and spying by a hostile nation using advanced technology. But government officials say many of the incidents have far more ordinary explanations."

Oh really? How so? How exactly did these "ordinary explanations" get incepted and created?  What was the process and what exact data support it?  Recall the original document looked at 144 incidents from 2004 to 2021 that were reported by U.S. government sources, mostly military personnel, and none could be properly explained.  We are told that on Monday we will finally get the lowdown, but I ain't holding my breath.  Barnes' piece also notes:

"Some of the incidents have been attributed to Chinese surveillance — with relatively ordinary drone technology — and others are thought to be connected to Beijing. China, which has stolen plans for advanced fighter planes, wants to learn more about how the United States trains its military pilots, according to American officials."

Which is a load of horse pockey. As I noted in an earlier (July 18) post, neither the Russians or Chinese possess the advanced technology to explain the dynamical behavior the Nazy pilots recorded,  e.g.

The U.S  military also is not advanced to the point of having such craft either. Look, the U.S. military can't even produce a B-2 Stealth bomber that doesn't lose evasion capability in the rain for god's sake.  Rain - according to one report - distorts the 'skin' of thermoplastics and composites- causing the plane to lose much of its ability to evade enemy radar.

We are basically in the same position as Neanderthals trying to make sense of an F-117 fighter craft, e.g.

Perhaps the best explanation for all this recent moronic pseudo debunking and whitewashing of the UAP -UFO reports was provided in a paper published some years ago in the journal Political Theory by Alexander Wendt and Raymond Duvall, viz.

Sovereignty and the UFO - Alexander Wendt, Raymond Duvall, 2008

 Herein they note the phenomenon of the UFO tends to be rejected as real because it comes up against the human concept of state sovereignty. Prof. Daniel W. Dresner, in an article appearing in The Sunday Denver Post on June 2, 2019, put it this way:

'UFOs have never been systematically investigated by science or the state, because it is assumed to be known that none are extraterrestrial. Yet in fact this is not known, which makes the UFO taboo puzzling given the ET possibility.  The puzzle is explained by the functional imperatives of anthropocentric sovereignty, which cannot decide a UFO  exception to anthropocentrism  while preserving the ability to make such a decision. The UFO can be known only by not asking what it is."

Hold that thought: a "UFO exception to anthropocentrism"  - in other words, an entity regarded seriously as an exception to human superiority. Hence, the real reason UFOs have been dismissed or treated as unworthy of serious human attention is because of the existential challenge they pose to a species that fancies itself the lords of creation - as well as the most technologically advanced life form.  In effect, to admit the reality of the UFO as an alien craft would directly challenge this comforting codswallop, engendering enormous cosmic uncertainty and rejection of the fake techno superiority meme.   

 This is also exactly why "stigmas"  arise associated with UFO research or claims/admissions of their reality.  In a word, those  skeptical responses amount to an elaborate defense mechanism for egocentric humans, who would otherwise have to fess up that they're second rate at least in technological terms.  We see this even in the released  report from June, 2021, e.g.

 "Our analysis of the data supports the construct that if and when individual UAP incidents are resolved they will fall into one of five potential explanatory categories: airborne clutter, natural atmospheric phenomena, USG or U.S. industry developmental programs, foreign adversary systems, and a catchall “other” bin. UAP clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to U.S. national security."

The five categories "construct"   is again,  a lot of hooey- mental fluff and piffle designed to distract from serious inquiry.  There are not any "five  categories" only one real one that's directly associated with those UAP  "beyond U.S. or its adversaries technological capabilities" described at the outset.  These form the very core of the UAP which point to an alien origin, without the need to drag in gigabytes of bunkum and artificially massaged mundane window dressing.  

While so-called government and intel "experts" supposedly continue to check sensors for "flaws" to explain the extraordinary dynamical behavior and come up with prosaic piffle like “airport trash” and drones, they give away their game as one of dodge and distract.

Why? Because humans would prefer to overthink, invent outlandish pseudo "mundane" tripe and "explanations" - making excuses rather than admitting we're not at the top of the cosmic food chain we had supposed. In the words of Prof. Dresner:   

"The UFO can be known only by not asking what it is."

In other words, dodge the reality by covering it in bunkum,  techno babble and bland, middle mind tropes and memes. Or to quote astronomer Chris Impey:  "This is still mostly an area where scientists fear to tread."   

Well, you can now add high end public officials, most of the corporate media and the military too.  In the meantime it's best to remember the words of one of the most beloved literary sleuths:  "When you've eliminated everything else whatever remains - however unlikely - must be the answer."

Here’s the main takeaway that ought to make you consider this latest official codswallop (to explain away) is a desperate effort at a whitewash, not unlike the Warren Commission farce:

Much of the information about the unidentified phenomena remains classified. Although Congress has been briefed on some of the conclusions about foreign surveillance, Pentagon officials have kept most of the work secret.”

Why? I give readers three guesses, the first two don’t count.

See Also:

Even if You Think Discussing Aliens Is Ridiculous, Just Hear Me Out     

How would contact with U.F.O.s and other civilizations change ours?


Transient Optical Phenomena of the Atmosphere - a Case Study    


Physics Today Book Reviewer Kate Dorsch Is As Clueless About UFOs As Neil DeGrasse Tyson 




Holman Jenkins Jr. In Latest WSJ Piece Shows UFO Topics Are Way Beyond His Pay Grade 


Friday, October 28, 2022

Are We Really On The Cusp Of Workable Nuclear Fusion Power - By 2054?

                          Design of typical nuclear fusion tokamak machine

In an article ('Fusion Plans Announced') in the autumn issue of New Scientist we learned that nuclear fusion engineers are starting the conceptual design for a power station which they "hope will run on the Sun's same energy- nuclear fusion."  

This preliminary "conceptual design phase" is specifically for the DEMOnstration power plant (DEMO), "a project backed by a European consortium - EuroFusion - to take take fusion power from the concept stage to a commercial reality."    The  goal is ambitious for sure and ultimately "plans for the 300 to 500 megawatt reactor to be generating low carbon energy by 2054."  

It is important to point out here that there has been no shortage of existing experimental fusion designs and machines (including at Princeton Univ. in the U.S.) which have been used to try to confined and control tokamaks, in the shape of a doughnut (as shown in the top image).   None of these devices up to now have been able to achieve the primary goal of "net gain", i.e. getting more energy out of a fusion reaction than goes into it.  But there's been progress, for example a "global energy record set last year."  

To be more precise: "On 21 December 2021, the U.K.-based JET heated a gas of hydrogen isotopes to 150 million degrees Celsius and held it steady for 5 seconds while nuclei fused together, releasing 59 megajoules (MJ) of energy."

Five seconds duration is impressive for sure but still not enough for a commercial project. But the piece goes on to note that "more may occur when an  18 billion research tokamak in France known as ITER is scheduled to be switched on."    

ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor)   is the "colossus of all tokamaks" but not before 2027 at the earliest. When finished it will be 30 m high and weigh in at 23,000 tons.  Its staff will "number in the thousands" and it will hold 840 liters of plasma. The containing magnets alone will require some 100,000 km of niobium tin wire. The stupendous cost - in the tens of billions  - is being paid by a global consortium that includes the U.S., Russia, the EU, China, Japan, South Korea and India. It is hoped it will achieve full power by 2035.  

Meanwhile, problems remain in attaining the goals, whether for ITER or DEMO.  The success of the latter, for example, requires collecting the heat from the fusion reaction and converting it to electricity, all while working 24 hours a day. The basic fusion reaction we are looking at is depicted below:

And written:    D + T → He + n.->  17.6 Mev

Where:   T  =  3 H  =  3.016 u  

 denotes tritium or hydrogen 3.

The key issue now is in generating enough tritium and deuterium to fuel the fusion reactions in ITER as well as DEMO. Deuterium (heavy water) isn't a huge problem as it can be obtained from sea water.    The problem is that supplies of tritium are limited because while it can be found in the Earth's crust it decays quickly.  To give a perspective on the limitations, current research projects for fusion have - up to now-  only been able to amass and use an amount of tritium in grams. But a feasible fusion- based power station will need amounts in kilograms, or a thousand times what's used now in research efforts. This is why more research is needed to get more 3 H  including 'breeding it from lithium ( 3 Li ) or facilitating design changes such that neutrons escaping from the fusion plasma interact with lithium in the tokamak's walls to create more tritium. 

 Another bugbear mentioned in the article: the DEMO project must proceed in parallel to ITER.  The former, in other words, can't wait for the completion of the latter.   Otherwise, according to Ambrogio Fasoli - the Chair of the EuroFusion General Assembly- quoted in the piece: 

 "There will be a big gap of decades and then nobody will have an interest in fusion."   

But he does concede that DEMO must learn from ITER.  Still, whatever final design DEMO has by 2027, when the plant is finished, it's unlikely to be the first fusion power station.  The reason? Several private fusion startups have claimed they will have one operating by the early 2030s.  That remains to be seen, including whether the UK's STEP plant will be operational by the 2040s. (Alas, I will not be around to see any of this or comment - but maybe current readers will). 

 The bottom line is that this energy source cannot be allowed to be stillborn.  Too much is at stake. Especially given the planet's population keeps growing (expected to hit the 8 billion mark next month) and the voracious demand for energy is growing with it.

See Also:

ITER - the way to new energy


DOE Explains...Deuterium-Tritium Fusion Reactor Fuel | Department of Energy

Thursday, October 27, 2022

More Advanced Use Of Differential Operators

 Differential operators find widespread use in many applications and in solving differential equations. In my October 12 post I introduced some basic differential operators and gave the various forms in which they are written.  There are also more advanced operators which can be used to solve differential equations and those are the topic of this post.  The first thing to note is that there can be multiple variations on the same basic operator form but which can be used in different settings, problems.

 Let P(D) represent a polynomial in D with constant coefficients then:  

rx  P(D)y = P (D -r) [ rx  y]   

Or we can write:

P(D)rx  y]  =  rx  P(D  + r)y

Also;  - rx  P(D )rx  y]  =   P(D  + r) y

This can also be written: 

  rx  y] P(D ) = rx   [y] /P(D  + r)  

Further:  P(D) rx   =  rx     P(r)

Or:    rx  / P(D) =   rx / P(r)    If P(r)  =/ 0

And more generally:   

[e rx  y] / P(D)   =    rx [y] / P(D +  r) 

Each of the above basically states the same property which we refer to as an "exponential shift".  It's instructive here to see the application in solving differential equations.    We look first at obtaining the general solution of the differential equation:

y"'-  4 y"  + 4y' = 0

Which we will first convert to operator form, i.e.

(D 3  -   42   +   4D) y  =  D (D- 2) 2  y = 0

So that we get two initial results:

a) D   =  0   and  b): (D- 2) 2  =  0

For which (a) has solution:     y1 (x) = C

And for (b) we apply the exponential shift in the form:  

- rx  P(D )rx  y]  =   P(D  + r) y

 Using r = -2 to get:

(D- 2) 2  =  2x  2  ( -2x  y)   =  0


2  ( -2x  y)   =  2  z  =   0

Integrating twice yields:

 z  =   A

z =   -2x  y  =  Ax +  B

Or:   y 2    = (Ax + B) 2x 

Then the general solution becomes:

y 1   +  y 2    =  (Ax + B) 2x   +    C

Example Problem:

Solve the equation:  y" +  4y   =  3x

We apply the shifting form:

rx  / P(D) =   rx / P(r)   With r = -1

Then write:  (2 +   4) y  =  x

y =  (2 +  4) -1    x    =  /5 

Suggested Problems:

1) Solve the differential equation below using an appropriate differential operator:

y"  -  4y   + 4 = x2x

2) Solve the operator form of the differential equation below:

 (D- 1) 3  y =  x

3)  Consider the differential equation:

dy2/dx2  + K2 y = 0

a) Show the equation in operator form, with operator specified.

b) Obtain the general solution from factorization of the full operator differential equation.

Colorado High Schools Find New Way To Teach Hands-On AP Physics - Using Model Rocketry

                                   AP Physics students fire rocket in Colorado

The Denver Post article  'Rockets Teach Students Physics'   was a joy to read, describing as it did how model and amateur rocketry now being used as part of AP Physics in select Colorado high schools.   It also brought back memories of my own rocket launches at Monsignor Pace High School (in Miami) in 1962-63, when the entire school would be released to witness a launch.  One of my own single stage rocket designs, including dimensions of the fins, tubing etc.,  is shown below:

In the case of the Colorado exploits, one learned from the Post that :

"Nearly 100 students from Severance and Windsor high schools robotics and AP physics classes took their work into the field, launching their rockets from a practice field on the north side of Windsor high and middle schools."  

Behind the eventual success of those launches - working as a technical adviser  -  was Matt Rhode, a University of Colorado aerospace engineering sciences instructor.  He patiently saw the physics students through critical steps in the problem - solving of why several 'birds' failed to ignite on their respective pads.

One of the problems encountered was a repeated failure,  even on the first or second attempt.  Rhodes then showed the problem could be traced to two wires in contact in the ignition system, shorting it out.  As one Severance HS student summed up the issue:

Technology is a bit confusing still. Just a problem so simple, just two wires touching wouldn’t make it work.”   

Well, that's rocketry , my young friend! But you won't find a more worthwhile vehicle  (no pun intended) to get into the Newtonian content of AP physics.  Just the launch of a single rocket can teach an abundance of principles, as well as their application.  Consider just the thrust needed to propel a rocket of a given weight W:

Let's say the model rocketeer wishes to compute the velocity v2 from the equation above, using the units (feet-pounds) as indicated.  Let the total impulse of the engine be 10 pound-seconds, and the burn time of the engine be 2 seconds. Then the force F or thrust is:

(10 lb-sec)/ 2 sec  x (16 oz/ 1 lb) = 80 oz.

Then the velocity v2 = (80 oz/ 10 oz   - 1)  32 ft/ sec/sec (2 sec)

Assuming the average weight of the rocket at lift off is 10 oz.

v2 = (8 - 1) (64 ft/ sec)  =  7( 64 ft/ sec)=  448 ft/ sec or about 135 m/sec

Which is a reasonable value.

Then one can go into detail using integral calculus as well, incorporating changes in momentum.   We can use the diagram below as a working template:

The rocket’s motion changes when a fraction of its mass (D m) is released in the form of ejected gases. Since the gases acquired their own momentum, the rocket receives a compensating momentum in the opposite direction.  Therefore, the rocket is accelerated as a result of a push from the gases. In free space, or a vacuum, the entire system works independent of the presence of any opposing medium.  Assume at some time t, the momentum of the rocket plus fuel is: 

(M + D m)v, 

then at some later time: (t + D t), the rocket ejects some fraction of mass D m, so the rocket’s velocity must increase to (v + D v). By appealing to Newton’s 3rd law via an application of conservation of momentum,  we may write:

Total initial momentum of the rocket system = Total final momentum of the system

 Then we get:

 (M + D m)v = M(v + D v) + D m(v – v’)

 Where v’ is the velocity with which the fuel is ejected relative to the rocket. The equation can then be simplified to yield:  Mdv = v dm, which may be integrated, viz.:

ò v1v2  dv = v òm1m2  dm

Or, letting m2 = M f, m1 = M i and v2 = v f, v1 = vi:

f – vi:   = v’ ln [M i / M f]

Where the left side shows the difference between the final and initial velocities, M i refers to the initial rocket mass (fuel plus rocket proper) and M f refers to the final rocket mass with fuel expended.  (In general, for most rockets,    M  >> M f ).  To see how this works, say a model rocket is launched by an amateur group in central Colorado (see image  at top)  of initial  total mass 1.0 kg. They used a Zn S (zinc sulfide) solid fuel engine for which the exhaust gases attained a velocity of 100 ms -1 relative to the rocket for 3 seconds.  After this interval, the rocket mass decreased to 0.05 kg.   We can then find the rocket’s acceleration and estimate the altitude assuming zero air drag and a near –vertical launch angle.

We have: M i = 1.0 kg, M  = 0.05 kg

 Therefore, the difference between initial and final velocities is:

f – vi:    =  v’ ln [M i  / M f]

f – vi:     = (100 m/s) ln [1.0 kg/ 0.05kg]

f – vi:    = (100 m/s) ln(20) = (100 m/s) (3) = 300 m/s

The altitude can be estimated by using the kinematic eqn.

s = ½ at2

where s is the vertical displacement for an acceleration a, over time t.

s = ½ (300 ms-2) (3)2  

s = 450 m  or  1 485 ft.

In Barbados,  teaching A-level physics at Harrison College, a number of students expressed interest in 'hard core' amateur rocketry - not just the model rocketry using carboard tubes and pre- built motors.  While we lacked the open field facilities to conduct launches, given the College location in the city of Bridgetown, we at least explored the principles needed for design, especially of a proper rocket nozzle - which students were then encouraged to make in the lab. Of inestimable use was Capt. Bertrand Brinley's fine text:

Which clearly showed the diagrams needed for precise rocket calculations and construction, e.g.

The computation for the effective thrust coefficient CF shown at the bottom is related to the physical specs including the atmospheric pressure,  Pa    , the chamber pressure,  Pe  , the ratio of specific heats (Cp /Cv )  for combustion products k . The combustion chamber cross-sectional area (Ae / A t)  is the ratio of nozzle exhaust area to throat area) given by:

(Ae / A t)   =  

(M t / M c)  [(1 + M c 2 (k -1 )/2/ 1 + 2 (k -1 )/2] k+1/2(k+1) 

Where M t is the Mach number of the gases in the throat, and M c is the Mach number at the end of the cylindrical section.

Generally, the diameter of the nozzle throat needs to be about one third the diameter of the combustion chamber, while the angle of the converging section of the nozzle needs to be approximately 30 degrees, and the angle for the diverging section 15 degrees. The failure to properly design the nozzle is probably responsible for most amateur rocket misfires.  

But as two Colorado students: one a junior in AP physics. the other a senior, also in AP physics, observed:  

"Trial and error is definitely the biggest part. If something doesn’t work, with engineering, you have to figure out why it doesn’t work. It didn’t work the first couple of times, but you try, try, try again.”

"This rocketry is something real, as opposed to problems on a worksheet or in a textbook" as one of the physics advisors said.    Which is exactly why rocketry - whether model or amateur- remains a great way to teach Newtonian physics, at AP, or A-level. Similarly, it can be argued that using physics applications to teach algebra - is a great way to teach that subject:

See Also: